Marcus Marshall had 14 points for the Bears (5-11, 3-1 Missouri Valley), who shot 54 percent from the field in the first half in building a 32-25 halftime lead. Missouri State finished the game at 47 percent.
Jackie Carmichael led Illinois State (9-7, 0-4) with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Johnny Hill had 14 points. Jon Ekey scored eight points but no other player had more than four points for the Redbirds, who had won four straight before entering MVC play.
Missouri State didn’t have a field goal in the last 4 minutes, but closed the game with seven free throws in the final 1:23, six of them by Downing.